Professional Bids and Estimates


Hi everyone! So, thought this would be a very covered topic, but apparently not… I am looking for information on how to go about putting in a professional bid to a business. (more of a commercial place, it’s pretty big) and I don’t necessarily need a template, just info on what all needs to be present for it to be taken seriously. Should a bid or estimate for a company have a place for them to sign upon accepting, like a contract of sorts, or should it simply have an itemization and a price estimate with your basic company info, maybe a little bit about your services, ect. Should it be short and simple or should it go into greater detail? I have a graphic designer, I can get what I need made, I simply do not know what all needs to be present. If they want to do a contract will they handle that or would I have to provide one? I’m reaching the point in my business where I can no longer afford to look like the neighborhood kid washing windows (I’m only 19, this is my 3rd year in business coming up this summer) so any information on this would be so appreciated. I have some professional bill of sales being written up (no more walmart receipt books for me! At least not for my non mom and pop shop clients) and I have a spiffy uniform, this is the next step. Thanks in advance!


Take a look at this sample, take from it what you need. There’s some that is overkill for some smaller commercial jobs but it does a good job on a basic explanation or example of things larger commercial would be intrested in seeing on a contract/proposal.

Very important to include a detailed scope of work, what you will furnish as far as material supplies, date and rate of service.

If appropriate not a bad chance to list your other services offered.

Commercial contract basics

Thank you so much, @jhans ! Very helpful indeed!


@jhans Just a couple questions. So when you send this, do you send it digitally? Are you expecting them to print it out, sign it and send it back? Or do you mail it with your signature already on it or do you travel there to sign it in person at the same time as them? From how it reads I assume the latter, that you sign it in person both of you at the same time? That’s a big part of the equation for me, I am not really sure how to handle it. Any input you have on how you generally handle this with your prospective clients would be fantastic! Thanks!


Jeff, @jhans would you mind if i take this and adapt it for my business as well? I will be cutting a good bit out so it wont look similar almost at all, but its a good template so i thought i would ask.


Something like what Jeff linked is great, but you have to have the right customer to send it to.

Basically jobs over 1k if its just a big shop, they probably won’t have s dedicated legal department so 9 pages, might seem overwhelming for a monthly window cleaning service.


Anybody can use this, it is just a generic form and it’s just an example. It has all the necessary information just be dull dread some to fit your needs.

Yes it’s too long you could summarize this I’m due a page if not 2.

We email these to customet, they sign and return it. Ours are typically one page unless the description of services is excessive or have multiple buildings.


The most important item using these is the scope of services.

We offer straight wash method, construction clean and restoration services. The proposal will state, wash all exterior windows outside only using a straight wash method.

This way when we come to a reoccurring site for a cleaning if there is paint over spray, construction residue, hard water stains it is clear that would be an additional billing besides the general accumulatef dirt and debris .


You will start to find that you will have 2 types of people in that environment, you will start to know just from speaking to them what they want to see.

HOA’s LOVE the bells and whistles. They will hang on every word.

Property managers (almost ALL of them, I know because I’ve asked), won’t even read it.

They only want to see the numbers, the scope of work how you understand it to be, depending on the risk factors and the type of business is inside will dictate if you need to add safety stuff. Normally if thats the case they’ll start talking about safety or asking you what your take on the site and scope is. Thats your prod to include your safety programs with your bid.

Your absolute best way to do this; is to listen to all the above what everyone is saying, but do your own thing and test. Talk to people and ask them.

There were things that I did years ago that were just juvenile and lame, and when I asked them what they thought of what those things were they were nice enough just to say that I appeared inexperienced.

So bounce your ideas off of someone older than you and ask them how it looks or sounds and preferable not someone in the industry.

Trial and error is the only school for me.